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What are the effects of business burnout?

July 15, 2016 by Ed Becker

From our first article in this series, we learned what business burnout is and why small business owners are at a higher risk for burnout. Now we will explore the effects of business burnout and how to tell if you are on the path to becoming burned out. Finally, in our last segment we will discuss how to prevent and reduce the risks and effects of business burnout.

Office worker overworked

Office worker overworked

Business burnout can affect each person differently. Many signs and symptoms could be similar but some could be quite different. There are many aspects of burnout, by looking at the signs and effects it will help you to reduce your risks of becoming burned out or reduce the effects of a path already on its way to the burnout stage.

  • What can happen to you when you begin to burn out?

Small business owners basically do not shut down or shut off from their business. This habit and sense of having to constantly work is very dangerous. Because we wear so many hats as small business owners, our minds really never stop working the business. By not taking time to recharge yourself, you run the risk of burning out much faster and harder.

You will become exhausted from not enough sleep; too much mental energy being constantly used to think about work is also exhausting. If your business is a service related business, you are constantly interacting with clients and vendors, trying to make everyone happy and keep expenses low. You may not notice that you are exhausted and beginning to burn out at first, because your passion is high and your goals are exciting. Yet, in these early stages of a business it is important to plan and get into the habit of taking time to recharge yourself.

  • Physical effects?

As noted above, mental fatigue and exhaustion are huge indicators that you are on a path towards burnout. Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your body and your mind. It can cause stress related illnesses such as coronary issues, high blood pressure and autoimmune issues.

Stress and exhaustion can also cause poor decision making, an unhealthy lifestyle of eating junk food that is easily accessible, not exercising because you do not have time plays right into the unhealthy lifestyle issues. These combined issues can create a health crisis that could become very dangerous physically as well as detrimental to your business.

  • Mental effects?

Mental effects of stress, sleep deprivation and poor health are numerous and well documented. As small business owners striving to create a successful company, we do not always see how unhealthy and stressed we are. Burnout causes energy deficiency which leads to poor attitude, lack of confidence and self-esteem, it can amliphy negative feelings and emotions to an unrealistic state. Once you get to this point procrastination will begin to creep in, then guilt for not getting enough tasks completed because you procrastinated.

All of the above can soon close in and can cause depression, despair, a sense of worthlessness, loss of motivation and even suicidal thoughts and actions. Some small business owners actually have committed suicide because the stress and depression become too much.

  • External consequences

Business burnout can also cause issues and stress outside of your business. If you lack motivation, or sink into periods of depression or begin having anxiety attacks this will affect your loved ones, your friends and your business. Marriages and parental relationships become strained, first because your time has been consumed by the business, then you can become consumed by the effects of burnout.

Business burnout can become severe and affect your health and personal life. Take the time to read the next article about ways to reduce the risks and effects of business burnout.


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